The chance of being killed by lightning in a year is about 1 in 2 million. The chance of being injured seriously enough to get into hospital records (which obviously depends on where you are as much as severity of injury) is about 1 in 700,000. However, multiple strikes are far more common than you would guess if you treated strikes as independent. Almost all strikes occur when people are outside in a thunderstorm (duh!) and certain people (those who live in thunderstorm-prone areas, fanatic golfers, kids with treehouses) are far more likely than others to be in that situation (a few strikes occur as much as ten miles away from the strorm, when the sky is clear, and a few people get killed inside buildings, but those things are pretty rare). The world record for being hit is 7, which would be fantastically improbable if hits were independent. The guy unfavored by God was a forest ranger who (I'm not making this up) committed suicide. I guess he figured if God was too incompetent to hit him even once, he might as well do it himself.Of people whose lightning strikes are reported to vital statistics agencies, 30% die and 50% have permanent injuries, only 20% recover fully. But there are many people who are, shall we say, touched by lightning who don't seek medical help. One rough estimate is that 1 person in 50,000 has some significant current from lightning flow through his or her body in a year, and 1 in 500 is near enough to a lightning strike to feel some physical effect such as hair standing on end or buzzing metal fillings. I sanity checked those numbers using National Geographic's estimate of 100 worldwide lightning strikes every second, assuming a meter square area per person in the first case, and 10 meter square area for the second. A lot of these people will say they were "hit by lightning". It's pretty dramatic to be outside in a storm, feel your hair stand up, then see a tree a few meters away get knocked down and lie smoking on the ground. I'd tell people about it for years if it happened to me.The actors' experiences seem to be in the 1 in 50,000 category. Even if we treated the events as independent, they would not be remarkable. We would expect this to happen a couple times a year. Overall, I'd rate this about a 1 in 10 million event, that is I think a few hundred people in the world every year can reasonably claim to have been hit by lightning twice.
Last edited by Aaron
on October 24th, 2003, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.